Sunday Pasta®: Strangozzi con le Capesante (Scallops)
It happened one day. On a cold gray Saturday in January, during the journey from Slovenia to Venice, in a car, driven by the thought of lunch on the Grand Canal. The rest is a dreamlike blur: See sign for the Italian border. Forget Venice, too far away. Take first exit, Trieste. Wander to find Menarosti, Antico Ristorante dal 1903. Enter an unassuming doorway to find tables full of Italians eating, talking, and laughing. In the back room, nonna was shelling crabs by hand. Mother and daughter kept watch over the dining room, while son was in the kitchen. After a brief conversation about all the fish that came in that morning from the lagoon, eight delicious courses followed: various fish, shrimp, clams, scallops, fried, raw, baked, with pasta…and local Friulano wine too. I thought about karma and how there would surely be payback for my good fortune. As usual, I decided to keep that worry for another day, or at least until after espresso.
My friends at Menarosti have been kind enough to send us today’s Sunday Pasta recipe. I doubt you can get your scallops fresh from the Istrian lagoon, and I doubt your strangozzi will come from Umbria, but this will get you close enough to share the dream. You can deal with karma later.
FYI: Trieste is the capital of the region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy’s border with Slovenia. It has been controlled by Germanic, Latin, and Slavic cultures. Today, the city supplies more than 40% of Italy’s coffee, most notably Illy. Strangozzi are a long pasta, hand-cut, and typical of Umbria, though they can be found in Marche and Lazio, and depending on where, can be called stringozzi, strengozzi, strengozze, and strozzapreti which can be translated into “priest stranglers.”
Originally: Strangozzi con le capesante Istriane, pomodori piccadilly e timo (Strangozzi with Istrian Scallops, Piccadilly Tomatoes, and Thyme)
Sunday Pasta™: Strangozzi con le Capesante (Scallops)
Total Time: 45 minutes
Wash the tomatoes and cut them into wedges. In a large skillet, brown the scallion, blend with the wine, add the tomatoes, a sprig of thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, in another pan, heat a little oil and brown the scallops with the thyme, sprinkle with brandy.
Add the fish stock to the tomatoes and cook on high heat for 10 minutes. Adjust for salt and pepper.
In a large pot of salted water, cook the strangozzi until al dente, drain them and add them to the tomatoes. Add the scallops. Mix in a bit of parsley. Serve immediately.